Instructor: Tanya Whiton
Date & Time: Saturday, January 26 | 10:30 AM to 2:30 PM
Location: USM’s Glickman Library, Portland
Maximum Attendees: 12
Fee: Member: $50 | Nonmember: $105
Registration Closes: January 21
In Savage Dreams: A Journey into the Landscape Wars of the American West, Rebecca Solnit describes sense of place as “…the sixth sense, an internal compass and map made by memory and spatial perception together.” For both fiction and nonfiction writers, a clear sense of place—one that accesses not only geographical features, but also elements of memory, cultural identity, and regional character—grounds narrative in concrete detail, while allowing for the complexity of subjective experience. It also deepens other key aspects of prose, including character development, theme, and structure.
This class will examine the essential elements of defining and writing place, using excerpts from stories by Amy Hempel, Denis Johnson, and Edward P. Jones, as well as the opening chapter of Russell Banks’ novel, The Sweet Hereafter. Participants will then investigate place in their own works-in-progress through a series of writing exercises.
+ ADVANCE READINGS After registering, participants will receive selected readings and questions for discussion, which they should bring to class.
Writer and editor Tanya Whiton’s fiction has received an honorable mention in Glimmer Train’s Very Short Fiction Contest and won second prize in Zoetrope: All Story’s Short Fiction Contest. Her work has also been published in Solstice: a Magazine of Diverse Voices, North Dakota Quarterly, Western Humanities Review, Northwest Review, and Crazyhorse. Her flash fiction has been featured as part of The Cincinnati Review’s MiCRo series and in A Pie de la Letra.
A two-time recipient of the Martin Dibner Memorial Fellowship for Maine writers, Tanya has also received New England Press Association Awards for her nonfiction work. Her book Two for the Road: Adventures in Maine, a collection of travel essays created with photographer Heidi Killion, was published in 2014. She has taught creative writing and professional development skills for writers for the Lesley Seminars, Stonecoast Writers’ Conference, and the University of Southern Maine. From January 2007–August 2016, she served as the Associate Director of the Solstice MFA in Creative Writing Program.
Tanya’s current and recent projects include: THE ZEN SPEAKER: BREAKING THE SILENCE, a documentary film directed by Robin Greenspun and slated for release in 2019; a traveling exhibit about trailblazing workers-rights advocate Frances Perkins; and ARE YOU REALLY MY FRIEND? (The Book), by Tanja Hollander.
ADVANCE REGISTRATION REQUIRED
All MWPA workshops require advanced registration. We accept registration by phone, mail, and online via PayPal. We cannot guarantee registration in the final 24-hours before a workshop, and can rarely accommodate day-of registration.
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For any questions regarding this workshop, please contact Hannah Perry at email@example.com.
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The MWPA is proud to offer one full scholarship to this workshop for members-only. Scholarships are awarded on a combination of need and merit. Application Due in the MWPA office on January 14 at 9:00 a.m.
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